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Epidemiology

Syphilis Hidden Beneath Powdered Wigs

A syphilis epidemic in the late 1500s in Europe left people with patchy hair loss. Other symptoms of the disease includes unsightly rashes and a bad odor. Powdered wigs scented with orange and lavender were worn to cover not only the sores and baldness, but the smell as well.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. There is evidence of humans making cheese dating back 7,500 years. 00:06

  2. Powdered wigs were first worn to cover up the balding, rash and odor associated with syphilis. 00:59

  3. Sideburns were named after the U.S. Civil War general Ambrose Burnside. 01:44

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